Skip links are a means to help users of screen readers jump from the beginning of a page to another section of the page. Visual users can scan a page quickly to identify the larger sections and skip over large blocks of text or links, but users of screen readers can’t easily do that.
Skip links provide a means to leap from the very top of a page to an alternate section of that page — one principle use being to leap over the main navigation to the main page content. Further reading about skip links.
Setting up Skip Links
WP Accessibility includes settings for two skip links. In most cases, you will only need a Skip to Content link; but in certain rare cases you may need a Skip to Navigation link instead or as well.
The only case where you would need a Skip to Navigation link is if you have a significant quantity of repeated content above your main navigation that’s duplicated on all pages. If you have just a few items – a site logo, a search bar, and a couple of links, then the extra skip link is not necessary.
Do you already have a skip link?
If you already have a skip link, then you should not turn this feature on. You may have a skip link and not know it – the majority of sites default to skip links that are hidden by default.
To find your skip link, you place your cursor in the address bar of your site, then use the
tab key to navigate forward until it becomes visible. You should reach the skip to content link before any other part of your site.
You can test this in the WordPress admin. After a few tabs, you should see this:
If you do the same thing on the public site, you should discover whether you have a skip link.
Finding Link Targets
Assuming you don’t have a skip link, you’ll need to identify what the target of your skip link will be. It needs to be an ID attribute that will be present on every page.
For the Skip to Content link, the ID attribute should be the first that appears after your main navigation.
It isn’t critical that it’s the first ID attribute; what matters is that there shouldn’t be any other content between the navigation and the target ID. Any of these ID attributes would be effective in this case.
What if my page doesn’t have ID attributes?
At the moment, your only option is to edit your theme to add ID attributes. And, honestly, once you’re editing your theme, you should probably also add your skip link directly to the source code.
After all, the point of WP Accessibility’s remediation tools is to give you a stop gap until you can fix the accessibility of your site.